Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and President Donald Trump. Photos: Pedro Pardo/AFP and Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico's foreign secretary, said Wednesday that he is in contact with the U.S. government following President Trump's announced plans to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.

What they're saying: Mexico's president characterized Trump's proposal as "interventionism" on Wednesday, emphasizing that he wanted to "avoid a political conflict," per the Washington Post. Ebrard tweeted that "Mexico will never accept any action that violates our national sovereignty," on Tuesday, following Trump's announcement.

How it works: Cartels labeled as terrorist organizations would be subject to special sanctions and increased scrutiny, which could apply to any institutions dealing with the cartel, including banks or government agencies, per the Post.

The big picture: Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush both weighed labelling Mexican drug cartels as terrorists, a former Mexican ambassador told the Post, but "backed down" after "they realized the economic and trade implications it would have on U.S.-Mexican ties."

Go deeper: Trump vows to designate Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - World

At least 100 killed, much of Beirut destroyed in massive explosion

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion Beirut, Lebanon has killed at least 100 people and injured over 4,000, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Driving the news: Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for over six years.

Biden confidants see VP choices narrowing to Harris and Rice

Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Confidants of Joe Biden believe his choices for vice president have narrowed to Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice — and would be surprised if he picks anyone else.

The state of play: This is a snapshot of the nearly unanimous read that we get from more than a dozen people close to him.

An election like no other

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus will make the 2020 presidential election different from any in modern history: Voting that begins earlier, results that take longer, mail carriers as virtual poll workers and October Surprises that pop in September.

The big picture: Perhaps 80 million Americans will vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, tells Axios. That's going to set up more of an Election Season than an Election Day — and increase the odds of national turmoil over the vote count.